Newsletter survey results

This article was published in 2012, in Newsletter 100.

Firstly, thank you for filling in the survey results. We have a total of 119 responses, which is relatively high for such a survey.

The first question we asked was how often you read the newsletter. The responses showed that 82% read every issue of the newsletter, 13% read most issues, and only 5% read only some issues. Nobody who responded wanted to admit to reading the newsletter rarely.

When reading the newsletter, 88% of people read most articles. Of these, 39% read every single article. Only one in ten people read just some articles. And of those who read every newsletter, they read most of the articles.

Article Type Enjoyment of … More of…
Major Project News 89% 99%
Small Improvement News 78% 98%
Campaign News 78% 96%
Your Streets This Month 75% 96%
Co-ordinator’s comment 69% 91%
Opinion Articles 64% 93%
Comment Articles 64% 93%
Members’ Journeys (My Way) 61% 90%
Photomap this Month 56% 89%
Study Visits 48% 87%
Event Information 42% 90%
Campaign Diary 35% 92%
Book Reviews 34% 74%
Small Ads 27% 77%

In general, most of the articles were really enjoyed by lots of people (see table). For example, the Major Project News, Small Improvements, Campaign News, and Your Streets This Month all rated the highest, with a 75% or over approval rating. Also notable favourites were opinion and comment articles. The least popular articles were the book reviews, and the small ads.

In terms of what type of articles you would like to see more of, there was an overwhelming YES to everything. Well, except for those pesky book reviews and small ads. And even then, even though some don’t enjoy them, the vast majority still wanted to see more of them. I guess it is hard to enjoy small ads, but you want more of them anyway. It is similar with Study Visits; they are highly enjoyed by over half of the readers, but we want more of them. Anybody fancy Copenhagen?

Surprisingly for such a high-tech area, there was an even split between those reading the newsletter online, and those reading it in paper form, with a slight bias towards paper. Some of the comments suggested that after a day in front of a computer, and a nice cycle home, the paper version of the newsletter was much preferred. Also, many people share their paper newsletters with other people, although there is a small minority, about 30%, who just keep it all to themselves. The vast majority of respondents are also members of the campaign, with just 10% admitting that they haven’t joined the campaign yet. And why not?

For the final multi-choice question, we asked what you think our main campaigning issues should be. The results, in your order of priority, are:

Campaign Issue Your priority
Cycle parking in the town centre 94%
Safer junctions 93%
Safer bus / cycle interactions 93%
More cycle lanes on main roads 92%
Enforcement for all traffic offences 91%
Strict liability 86%
Cycle parking at the train station 85%
Better connections from Cambridge to the necklace villages 84%
20mph speed limits in urban areas 81%
‘No entry except cycles’ signs 81%
Two-way cycling in one-way streets 79%
Segregated cycle infrastructure on major roads 78%
Lower speed limits on roads to villages 78%
Better connections to employment sites 77%
Chisholm Trail to connect the Station to the Science Park 73%

As you can see, the things that matter to most people are the problems around parking bicycles in the town centre and at the railway station, as well as making roads safer, especially at junctions. Perhaps we need a road junction subgroup that looks at each road junction in the city and surrounding area and recommends the best way to make these junctions safe? Any volunteers?

The final question asked how valuable the newsletter was to members. I will present the results raw, as I hope the data speaks for itself:

No Opinion Slightly Valuable Valuable Highly Valuable Invaluable
2% 3% 34% 49% 12%

95% of you think the newsletter is valuable, and well over half of you think that it is highly valuable or better.

We also gave people an opportunity to write something into your survey responses. What follows are some of these comments:

‘We are a medical practice based in the city centre. The newsletter is placed in the waiting room and is very popular with our patients. Thanks.’
‘Start a letters to the editor page.’
‘The content is excellent but it would be even better to persuade more people to contribute: perhaps channel that pent-up desire to voice an opinion that certainly exists on the email groups!’
‘The newsletter is amazingly good quality for a volunteer organisation! I feel slightly guilty for not contributing. Perhaps I will one day.’ – Stop feeling guilty, and start writing…
‘Because I live in a nearby village, the details of individual junctions and roads in Cambridge are of less interest to me as I don’t come into Cambridge every day.’
‘I would like to hear more about how other people manage their lives by bike – carrying children, shopping, going on holiday.’

Robin Heydon

The Editor adds: many thanks for all your feedback. I am pleased that so many of you enjoy so much of the newsletter. We shall consider your comments and suggestions carefully, so expect changes in future issues.